Highlights from the 17th running of the Indianapolis 500
RACE: 17th Indianapolis 500
DATE: May 30, 1929
WINNER: Ray Keech, M.A. Yagle
AVERAGE SPEED: 97.585 mph
WHAT HAPPENED: Ray Keech and defending champion Louis Meyer dominated the second half of the race, leading the final 95 laps. Keech took the lead for good on Lap 158 and then pulled away from Meyer to win the race by 6 minutes, 23.79 seconds. The race was marred by an early crash that killed 24-year-old Bill Spence, who was thrown from the car after hitting a wall entering the backstretch. For Keech, it was his second and final 500 start. He was killed in a race crash 16 days later at Altoona Speedway in Pennsylvania.
NOTABLE: The race was held in front of a then-record crowd of more than 160,000. Meyer's second-place finish was the highest of any defending champion so far. Before 1929, only three Indianapolis 500s had as many as 33 starters. Since then, 33 or more cars have started every race except 1947, when there were 30.